Journal of International Technology and Information Management

Document Type



This paper reports a study on the willingness to pay for the services of online social networks (OSNs). The relevancy of the question is derived from indications that these OSNs are considering charging their users for more advanced services in order to develop from the advertisement-based business model. The value of these OSNs has been studied mainly from the perspective of the advertiser. This paper reports a study into the value of OSNs from the user perspective. More specifically, the study investigated the willingness to pay for the use of the OSNs Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and the factors influencing this willingness. Based upon a survey amongst 202 Dutch users of OSNs, we found what percentage of users would be willing to pay for the three social networks in our study and we tested the value they would be willing to attribute to the services. We also tested the correlation between the willingness to pay and the eight potential factors of influence that were derived from literature. The contribution the study makes is that it provides insight in the factors influencing the value of OSNs from the perspective of the users. For the organizations behind social media, this is useful information in developing new business models that include charging users for specific services.